Courageous Love: Brian D. Gumm
Last fall, I received a letter from Brad Becker, who is the Executive Director of the California-based GLBT National Help Center. He shared with me a story about Ryan, who was a 15 year old boy from a tiny town in Texas. Ryan’s parents and community rejected him because he is gay. Ryan attempted suicide several times and eventually was saved from death by the unconditional love he received through the GLBT National Help Center.
Also, last fall, my son (Brian) posted this link on Facebook. (http://www.itgetsbetterproject.com/blog/entry/courage-graeme-taylor-stands-up-for-teacher-at-howell-school-board-meeting/) This is a video of a 14 year old student (Graeme Taylor) of Howell, Michigan, who spoke at a school board meeting in support of one of his teachers who refused to allow bullying of gays in his classroom. Here is a statistic, shared by Graeme Taylor during his short speech, and I quote, “There is a silent holocaust out there, where an estimated six million gay people kill themselves every year.”
What Brad Becker and Graeme Taylor helped me to understand is that my son could have been one of those young people who either tried to end his life or succeeded in doing so; had we, as his parents, rejected him. I believe one of the most effective ways in ending the self-inflicted slaughter of gays, lesbians, transsexuals and bisexuals is getting parents of these young people to understand the importance of accepting their children, no matter what their sexual orientation is; and showering them with unlimited unconditional love. Secondly, parents of gays, lesbians, transsexuals and bisexuals must have the courage to (“come out of the closet”) and publically support their children.
Seventeen years ago, our son informed my wife and me that he was gay. There were countless emotions we experienced at that moment and the most important emotion was the unconditional love we gave him at that moment (and beyond). You see, when we decided to become parents, we made a commitment to give our children (and now grandchild) the most important thing a human can give and receive, and that is unconditional love; (and have been giving him before he came out and have been giving him ever since he came out).
Our life-long faith journey has helped us to come to know God as unconditional Love. We have accepted our role in God’s plan as being people who give unconditional Love to our children, our neighbors, our coworkers, etc., no matter who they are or where they are on life’s journey. When that happens, it gets better for everyone.
Lifted up by: Darryl Gumm